It’s the Friday before the Memorial Day weekend, the first big three-day weekend of 2016.
The Martin Luther King Day and President’s Day three-day weekends don’t really count, do they? They come during the winter when the weather stinks and it’s not much fun to go outside. The Memorial Day weekend is different. Now, people want to get outside and get going. The traveling types want to hit the road, even though they know the traffic will be a pain, and get to their destination at the beach or the mountains or the national park as quickly as possible. The stay-at-homers are looking forward to partying with friends and family, grilling out, playing catch, and swimming at the public pool on its opening weekend. And everyone, whether they are staying or going, is looking forward to donning sunglasses and putting on shorts and drinking a cold beverage in warm sunshine.
We’re on the verge of the unofficial beginning of summer. You can feel it in your bones, and today you’ll feel it in your workplace, too, as you walk past lots of empty offices and darkened cubicles and overhear co-workers talking about their fun weekend plans and see them anxiously looking at clocks and watches and cell phones .
I’ve always thought the Fridays before the Memorial Day weekend and the Labor Day weekend are two of the toughest working days of the year. If you’re smart and have the seniority, you take a vacation day and enjoy that magical four-day weekend. If you’re a marginal employee, or worse, you wake up this morning and somehow convince yourself that you can plausibly call in sick on one of the days when workplace absenteeism undoubtedly is at its peak. But if you’re a solid, responsible adult like the rest of us, you show up for work today, accept that it’s part of the job, and feel like a kid on the last day of school, just waiting for the bell to ring telling you that you can run out the school doors without coming back for three months.
I look at it this way: working on the Friday before Memorial Day just makes the three-day weekend all the sweeter.